Author Topic: Fence quandary . . . UPDATE #38  (Read 8054 times)

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AngelicGamer

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2014, 10:42:58 PM »
I've been on the side of the fence where it got torn down and we didn't know the specific date.  They told us it was going to happen and agreed to have our gate attached to it - didn't have to and we offered to pay, but they did and refused payment because they're awesome - but I would have loved to know the specific date.  Thank everything grandma was still alive and the bird feeder was by the neighbor's fence.  Otherwise, they would have had a problem of the furry variety seeing what was up.  ;D  They would have been amused by it because they're also dog lovers.  I'm going to miss them when either we or they move.

So I'd tell the neighbors.  Doesn't have to be long - we had a five minute convo about it, if that - but tell them.




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Possum

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #31 on: June 18, 2014, 01:19:02 AM »
our fences have to be built a certain distance *away* from a boundary (unless by agreement), and you're fully responsible for your own fence.

I've often wondered about this when I've seen it mentioned on US forums.

Say the ordinance for your area is that fences must be one foot from the boundary line - this basically seems to be saying that you've given up access to one foot of your own property? This would be intolerable to me. If the neighbours doesn't put up a fence they're really gaining an extra foot of land for free.  If the neighbour also builds a fence there's two feet of no man's land. If my neighbour built a fence before I did, I doubt I'd build one too - why waste my money and lose part of my land when my neighbour has already provided me with a fence, especially if it's an actual privacy fence, not just a token boundary stating one.

What about grass that needs mowing? Weeds about weeds that might grow between two fences? Vermin that might inhabit the area?
I can't remember the reasoning for the distance, but it has something to do with egress for wildlife or something.  Or just weird rules.

We're actually in the situation you mention--back to back fences with a "no man's land" between.  Our neighbors put theirs up first, and not only did they not tell the surrounding neighbors, but they didn't do any surveying, so they wound up with the fence overstepping their property on at least two sides. We made them move it, and they grumpily did.  On top of that, they built it facing wrong-side-out (so the neighbors see the beams).

I don't mind beams, but my mother was livid, so we built a fence on *our* property the same height as their fence, so we wouldn't have to look at it.

As far as stuff living between the fences, I'm sure it's a possum highway, but we both keep our sides trimmed and cleared, and we haven't had any problems with vermin.  Weeds aren't visible, so we aren't concerned with those.  If enough stuff piles up (dead leaves) I'm sure one of us or the other will get in there with a rake, but that hasn't been a problem, either.

And, yeah, you lose a foot or two of land having to do it that way, but in most of the US, our yards are rarely so tiny that we can't spare that.  For us, the area where the fence is now was a low line of brush before, so we're still where we started in terms of usable footage. 

MurPl1

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2014, 01:20:38 AM »
Our city actually prohibits fences backing up to each other for that reason - no access to keep the grass/weeds down.

fountainof

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2014, 10:50:40 AM »
I have actually never seen IRL back to back fences, I guess people don't do that here.  You are able to build a fence right on the property line here with the neighbour's permission.  However, I looked up the city bylaws and it does say if you sold your home a new owner possibly could have issues with the fence on the property line but I am not sure how much that actually happens IRL seeing as how most people don't resurvey their property.

If I were paying 100% for the fence I would take the nice side facing me, I don't see anything wrong with that.  I actually did that fencing a front yard years back with a chain link fence (except the road piece I put the nicer side out, but the side I took the nicer side).

When you are splitting fence costs I would go with a good neighbor style that looks the same on both sides.

Margo

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2014, 11:29:32 AM »
I think you can certainly do what you want, and that it would be polite to tell the neighbours.

Is there any way in which the anels from the fence you don't need (because the neighbours have built their own) could be used to repair the parts you might want to keep in order to define your boundaries?

In your position, I would be concerned about the dog and the toddler coming into my yard, because even though they certainly shouldn't, and it would be your neighbour's responsibility to ensure thy didn't, your neighbours may not be very good at taking responsibility.

(the gap between fences seemed odd to me, too - but then losing a foot of land on each boundary would be quite a big deal in most of the places I've lived. In my previous house, the garden was only about 14' wide, so losing 2' would have been a very big issue! )

camlan

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2014, 11:44:58 AM »
I would set an ideal date to take the fence down, and a last possible date. Then tell your neighbors that the fence is coming down and when. If they ask for a little more time so that they can put up their own fence, you can negotiate a little, but not past your pre-set last possible date. There's limits as to how long you want this ugly, falling-down fence in your yard. And once a date is set, make it clear that you will be taking the fence down then.

If the dog or toddler wander into your yard, simply bring this issue up with the neighbors. I'd be upset about a dog possibly pooping in my yard and would certainly make that clear to the neighbors. A small child running into my yard to retrieve a ball would barely register to me. A small child pulling up all my flowers would.

In my area, most houses do not have fences. Yes, there are some, but the majority of yards have no fences. Maybe a tree or two or a hedge to mark a boundary, but that's about it. And people manage to contain their dogs and children to their own yards with little difficulty.

As for fences providing privacy--it's an illusion if there are two-story houses in the neighborhood. My neighbors have a pool and the required fence, but I can see everything that goes on in their backyard from every second-floor window on one side of my house. Not that I spend a lot of time looking over there, but if I happen to glance out the window, my view is of their yard.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2014, 01:27:36 PM »
Quote
  On top of that, they built it facing wrong-side-out (so the neighbors see the beams).

And this provides outsiders a nice little ladder to use in getting over your fence!

MommyPenguin

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2014, 04:21:18 PM »
(the gap between fences seemed odd to me, too - but then losing a foot of land on each boundary would be quite a big deal in most of the places I've lived. In my previous house, the garden was only about 14' wide, so losing 2' would have been a very big issue! )

Obviously it depends on the location, but in some areas, the law says that if both neighbors agree to go in together on a fence, they may build it on the yard line, and if only one neighbor wants a fence, he must build it a foot (or whatever) in on his property.  The idea is that then he can clearly state that he owns *both sides* of the fence, so the neighbor who didn't want a fence can't hang things on it, decorate it, or change it in any way, because it's not on his property.

I like the idea of thinking for a while about what you want and what you'd be willing to do.  The "ideal date" and "last possible date" idea is great.  Same thing for other things... decide what compromises you might be fine with, etc.  If a neighbor offered to pay for the fence repairs so that you didn't take it down, would you agree?  Make sure you know what that would cost.  Etc.

Do keep in mind that the neighbors, particularly the dog owners, may have been counting on that fence when they moved in.  I mean, who buys property and thinks, "Oh, the neighbor has a fence, I'll have to keep in mind that they could take down the fence at any time," versus seeing, "Okay, great, fenced yard."  Depending on their finances, a month may not be enough time for them to pay for a new fence.  So there may be some necessary compromise in what you'll put up with there, because if they don't have the money that month for a fence, what will they do with the dog?  Many people believe chaining is cruel, and they may not be able to always be outside with the dog on a leash, etc.  To a certain extent, I know this is their problem to solve, but I'd just try to make sure I put thought into what they might ask and whether it would work for me.

jpcher

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Fence quandary . . . UPDATE #38
« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2014, 07:16:47 PM »
Thanks, everybody, for all of your points of view. You provided some inputs that I didn't really think about.

Namely the dog and toddler (and others) coming into my yard. I was thinking from the perspective that I didn't have anybody/thing that would go out of my yard.  ::)

As far as privacy -- the fence doesn't provide much if any at all. It's a scalloped fence with 4-ft at the highest point and about 3-3/4 ft. at the lowest point, so it's not a privacy fence. It's more of a boundary fence.

My left side neighbor (the one with the dog) is a renter (anybody remember my posts about Noisy Neighbor? ;)) and I seriously doubt that her landlady will pay for a replacement fence. So, after reading some of your posts yesterday, I thought the neighborly thing to do would be to leave that side of the fence up . . . plus, then I won't have to worry about her dog coming into my yard. And that's a good thing! ;D




I was out looking at my back fence yesterday, trying to figure out if I could maybe prop it up somehow so that it might not look damaged, when my back neighbor (BN) came out to talk to me.

BN: I was looking at that a while ago and wondered if you were going to do something about it?

Me: Yeah, I know I've let it go, but I really need to do something. I haven't gotten any estimates on repair and I was thinking of just tearing it down.

BN: Oh? ??? Would you mind if I tried to fix it? It won't be a perfect repair but I think that maybe if I (went into explanation, which sounded plausible.) At the very least, it should stand up straight for quite a while and I'll just keep an eye on it, to make sure the fix stays fixed.

Me (laughing): I take it you don't want me to tear it down?  ;D

BN: Hey, it's your fence. If you take it down (hesitating) I'll just have to figure something out.

Me: Well, if you want to try and fix it then go for it. Just let me know how much the repairs will cost before you do anything.

BN: Oh, no. I think I pretty much have everything I'll need in the garage.

There was some back-n-forth about me paying him and him declining, so I agreed to let him try to fix the fence without payment. Then he said:

BN: Oh, by the way, We're pregnant again! ;D

Congratulations and Woo!Hoo!'s.

Soooo -- I'm guessing he doesn't have a lot of extra funds right now to put up a new fence but he really wants the fence to stay.

If he can repair it so that it doesn't look dilapidated and ugly? Why not let him do it?



Is there any way in which the anels from the fence you don't need (because the neighbours have built their own) could be used to repair the parts you might want to keep in order to define your boundaries?

Excellent thought . . . I didn't read your post until after I talked to BN. Thinking about it, if I offered that option to BN it might be more work than what he was willing to do. Plus, then, I'd have to definitely tear down the right side fence because otherwise it would look like a piece is missing.

So, I guess I'll see what BN does with the fix and next spring or the year after I'll be white-washing again . . . but, hey! That's good exercise! Right? ;D

Mergatroyd

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Re: Fence quandary . . . UPDATE #38
« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2014, 07:20:48 PM »
Hopefully he can get it fixed to both of your satisfactions!

TootsNYC

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Re: Fence quandary . . . UPDATE #38
« Reply #40 on: June 18, 2014, 07:57:29 PM »
Quote
If he can repair it so that it doesn't look dilapidated and ugly? Why not let him do it?

I like it!

Win-win!

esposita

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Re: Fence quandary . . . UPDATE #38
« Reply #41 on: June 18, 2014, 08:53:24 PM »
He might be willing to white-wash "his" portion for you. I know my husband would, if someone was kind enough to do what you're doing!

camlan

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Re: Fence quandary . . . UPDATE #38
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2014, 08:05:11 AM »
I have to admit that I'm a little puzzled about all the comments about the neighbor's dog entering the OP's yard if the fence comes down.

Surely the neighbor won't let the dog out if the yard isn't fenced? The dog could run off and never be seen again. Do many dog owners take that risk?

My thought was that if the dog's yard is no longer fenced, the dog simply wouldn't be out in the yard unsupervised.

Around here most people do not have fenced yards. Most dogs are either in the house or out being walked on a leash or taken to the dog park for a run. Only the farm dogs, out of the city proper, have the run of their property.

But I still think the OP has the right to remove that section of the fence if she wants to. And to expect the neighbor to keep the dog off the OP's property. It would be up to the tenant to deal with the situation, either by walking the dog more regularly, or negotiating with the landlord to replace the fence. While I think the OP should give both the tenant and the landlord notice of the fence removal, I don't see any reason why the OP can't take the fence down if that's what she wants to do.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Margo

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Re: Fence quandary . . . UPDATE #38
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2014, 08:13:27 AM »
You'd think, wouldn't you? But I guess it would depend on the neighbour, and on the rest of the fencing. After all, if the far side of the garden is fenced, then neighbour might think that the dog can't get out into the street.

I never had this specific issue (I had lots of others!) with my former neighbours, but I have no doubt at all that had I taken down the fence between my garden and theirs, they would have had the attitude "We don't care if our dog/children come into our garden, if it bothers you, you can fix it." in fact, if their dog had managed to get into my garden and then from there into the street, they'd probably have considered it to be my fault.

If you have good neighbours, (or even bad neighbours who are responsible dog owners) then of course they wouldn't let the dog wander.

Possum

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Re: Fence quandary
« Reply #44 on: June 22, 2014, 12:39:43 PM »
I have actually never seen IRL back to back fences, I guess people don't do that here.
I'd take a picture, but our neighbor would probably be convinced I was up to no good and throw an absolute hissy fit.  He's a charmer. But...
Our city actually prohibits fences backing up to each other for that reason - no access to keep the grass/weeds down.
I know, right?  I dunno, it might be that we just paid to put a back on his fence.  I can see through the slats ever so slightly.  We just call it "our fence/his fence," but it might just be referring to his side/our side.